Eating For A Healthier Brain: Use These Superfoods
It’s important that we consume the right foods that will nourish and support our bodies and health. Furthermore, as our brain is the most important organ in our bodies, it’s vital that the foods we’re eating contain nutrients that will both nourish and protect our brain. The wrong foods, rich in saturated fats and refined sugars can deplete our brain health, leaving us anxious, absent-minded as well as heightening our risk for neurodegenerative disorders.
By providing the right nutrients, these foods can support our memory, concentration and ensure proper brain development. Read on to discover which brain foods you should be eating in order to feel alert and focused.
It’s no secret that these fruits are little blue bombs full of nutrients and antioxidants that include vitamin C and vitamin K. Most importantly, blueberries are bursting with flavonoids. These are antioxidants that studies have shown protect brain cells against oxidative damage, which can lead to neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s. One study published in the journal Natural Neuroscience found that the compounds in blueberries encourage the production of a protein that motivates the construction of new brain cells. Furthermore, blueberries help to protect the brain against chronic inflammation, as well as increase its neuroplasticity. This ensures your brain’s capability to keep changing and potentially improving throughout your lifetime.
This may be the one vegetable that mothers have to continuously convince their children to be eating, but by doing so, they’re ensuring that their child gets a mouthful of vitamins and minerals. Aside from being rich in vitamin K, which helps to boost cognitive function, broccoli also contains Glucosinolates, which helps to protect the brain chemical acetylcholine. As mentioned, acetylcholine is needed for the health of our brain and memory
Extremely dense in a variety of vital nutrients, avocados are the best foods to consume if you’re looking to eat a perfect diet. Full of monounsaturated fats, avocados encourage the production a chemical that is integral to memory and learning – acetylcholine. They’re also rich in vitamins C, E and K. Their vitamin K content actually helps to protect the brain against blood clots – which reduces the risk of stroke. Lastly they contain the amino acid tyrosine, a precursor to dopamine, which is a brain chemical that can help keep you motivated and focused – in hopes of you receiving a pleasurable reward.
4. Dark chocolate
Not all chocolates are created equal. The general rule of thumb to follow is the darker the slab, the better for your brain (and waistline). Although dark chocolate has been linked with improved mood, its flavonoid content can also help to protect brain health. According to one study published in the journal Appetite, the consumption of dark chocolate has been associated with improved cognitive function. Another study found that dark chocolate can also protect against age-related mental decline, with the risk of dementia reducing in seniors who consumed dark chocolate. When purchasing dark chocolate, be sure to choose one that says 70% or higher on the label. This translates to the total percentage of cocoa bean within in the chocolate bar. If you find 70% too bitter, opt for 50% and upwards.
As they contain cholesterol, may people would rather opt out of eating eggs. The thing is, you brain actually needs cholesterol. The brain contains up to 60% fat as well as 25% of your body’s total cholesterol. In the case that it begins to lack in dietary fat, the brain may start to eat itself for the raw materials it needs. Aside from cholesterol, eggs also contain B6 and B12 which are B vitamins associated with decelerating the advancement of mental decline in the elderly. Eggs also contain the micronutrient choline which studies have found helps the body to create acetylcholine.
Choline is also linked to citicoline- a brain nutrient that increases blood flow to the brain.
6. Extra virgin olive oil
As extra virgin olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, it should come as no surprise that this oil can help preserve brain health. Aside from its monounsaturated fat content- which can boost memory- extra virgin olive oil also contains vitamins E and K and oleocanthal, which is a compound that studies, suggest helps to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s.
Your brain is your body’s most important organ and by feeding it the right nutrients, not only will you be ensuring its functionality, but you’ll also be filling your body with a vast amount of vitamins and minerals that’ll keep it strong and healthy. Harvard Health explains that every brain changes with age, and mental function changes along with it. Mental decline is common, and it’s one of the most feared consequences of aging. But cognitive impairment is not inevitable. Click here to find out more.
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